Godsmack Faceless

Godsmack gets a bad rap. Here is a band that has been slowly working their way up the ranks alongside bands that are receiving much greater fame, prestige and likely fortunes. Yet, unlike their peers, their records are maturing, highlighting their agreeable throwback sound. The band is obviously tipping their collective hat to the 1970s classic hard rock era. Faceless mirrors to the heyday of bands like Metallica and artists like Alice Cooper with its frenzied, chaotic guitars skipping and stumbling in and out of the rhythmic, cymbal-laden backbone. Sully Erna’s suppressed voice is practically part of the rhythm section, keeping time like a beating heart for those who dare to hear it. Thump, thump, thump. This quality is soothing yet draining for the listener. Bassist Robbie Merrill’s surfaced backing vocals add no depth to the tracks, making them superfluous. Case in point: closing track "Serenity.” But the band’s songs are more captivating than on their last offering, both lyrically and musically. And the core band has come together as a unit, interlocking their retro rock sensibilities into a fused reverberation of sound. Who in their right mind would honestly complain about that? (Universal)